Adult learners working at computer

New funding for learners to develop skills

The government has announced that new bursaries are to be become available for learners who struggle with study-related costs, to access new higher education short courses.

Due to the government making a pledge to offer tens of thousands of adults the opportunity to retrain in later life, open up further job opportunities and developing skills that are in-demand, 100 short courses will be offered by 22 universities and colleges from September this year.

In order to help fund the studies, bursary grants will be available for those who need extra financial support, so that they can cover the additional costs associated with study, such as books and childcare fees. Learning support for disabled students will also be available.

Newly appointed Secretary of State for Education, James Cleverly, said:

“This bursary will break down barriers to learning and give everyone the ability to upskill and retrain at a pace which suits them. It doesn’t matter what their personal situation or background is.”

“For too long, our education system has focused on traditional three-year courses which lock students in and give little flexibility. We are now moving towards a more modern way of learning to provide students with the opportunity to reach their potential whilst meeting the needs of the economy.”

This initiative has been developed with the help of employers and will give learners the flexibility to gain an accredited certificate and the valuable skills that they will need to apply in workplaces. The courses can be as short as six weeks or as long as a year, if studied part time. Subjects involved are ones that are vital for economic growth, such as STEM, healthcare, and education.

Paula Sussex, CEO of Student Loans Company, said:

“SLC is playing a fundamental role in the delivery of the government’s HE reform agenda. The delvier lifelong learning, we will be building an entirely new system of student finance for England; providing tuition fee loans for these short courses is an important first step in that process. Along with DfE and sector representatives, we will use this experience to help us support the planned introduction of the government’s lifelong learning offers.”

As part of the data gathering for the wider Higher Education Short Course Trial, the bursary is only available for the length of the trial only, as broader decisions on the lifelong learning maintenance support are still subject to policy decisions.

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